The Best Horse Shampoo (And Conditioner!)

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: February 18, 2023
© Teri and Jackie Soares/Shutterstock.com

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Taking care of a horse requires a lot of time, equipment, and patience. These majestic creatures are wonderful animals and caring for them is a big responsibility. Horses require daily exercise and enrichment. Not only is it great for your horse, but it is also a fun way to connect. All of these adventures can result in one dirty horse who needs a good bath.

We’ve looked at the top horse shampoos and conditioners to help you decide on the best choice for your horse. Using a quality horse shampoo to keep their coat clean keeps them healthier, happier, and looking great. We’ve made our top recommendations and researched the ingredients, cost, and use of each product.

  1. DermaBenSs Shampoo
    • Comes in a variety of size options
    • Works for horses as well as dogs and cats
    • Treats staph infections, hot spots and other skin issues
    • Affordable pricetag
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  2. Mane 'N Tail Combo Deal Shampoo and Conditioner
    • A top pick for horse owners
    • Affordable price tag
    • Available in multiple sizes
    • Shampoo & conditioner set
    • Enjoyable apple blossom scent
    Check Amazon
  3. Farnam Vetrolin White N' Brite Shampoo
    • Specific formula for white coats
    • Brightens hair by bringing out highlights
    • Concentrated formula needs to be mixed with water
    • Moisturizes the horse's skin
    • One bottle lasts for 16 washes
    Check Amazon
  4. Pet MD Antiseptic & Antifungal Medicated Dog, Cat & Horse Shampoo
    • Treats fungus, acne, dermatitis, allergies, and other skin conditions
    • Great option for prolonged use
    • Ideal for issues found in the skin folds
    • Won't dry skin
    Check Chewy
  5. Farnam Vetrolin Concentrate Horse Detangler & Conditioner
    • Provides added detangling benefits for thick- or curly-coated horses
    • Specially formulated silicone gets tangles out
    • Works great on the man, tail and forelock
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z Animals Top Picks for Horse Shampoo and Conditioner

#1 Best Overall: DermaBenSs Shampoo for Dogs, Cats, and Horses

In our review, the best horse shampoo is DermaBenSs Shampoo for Dogs, Cats, and Horses.

This comes in a 12-ounce bottle, as well as larger quantities if you want to buy in bulk. It can work for dogs, cats, and horses so is perfect for farm life with multiple animals. The formula works for all stages of your horse’s life so you can use it right from the time that they join your family.

The ingredients in the DermaBenSs shampoos are very clean and target a number of common needs. This formula can treat staph infections, hot spots, bacterial infections, lick granulomas, and other problems. It also moisturizes and repairs dry and damaged skin.

Some reviewers use it for targeted spots due to its higher cost than some other options. “This is the best shampoo,” said one reviewer. “I use it for my horses’ faces. During the summer they’ll occasionally lose hair around their eyes. This seems to fix it right away.” While it is great to use on the entire coat, targeting the areas where you usually see issues can be a budget-friendly way to work it into your horse’s grooming routine.

Most reviewers noted that it worked much better when they really worked the suds into their animal’s coat. It suds up well but you really need to work at it to get the full effect. Make sure that you also thoroughly rinse the shampoo out or you may see some residue build up over time. Unfortunately, some owners found that their horses developed flaky skin after using this product.

Pros and Cons of DermaBenSs Shampoo for Dogs, Cats, and Horses

ProsCons
This shampoo is suitable for use on horses of any age.Customers reported that some horses developed flaky skin after using this product.
This formula can treat staph infections, hot spots, bacterial infections, lick granulomas, and other problems.
It moisturizes and repairs dry and damaged skin.
Best Overall
DermaBenSs Shampoo
  • Comes in a variety of size options
  • Works for horses as well as dogs and cats
  • Treats staph infections, hot spots and other skin issues
  • Affordable pricetag
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best on a Budget: Mane ‘N Tail Combo Deal Shampoo and Conditioner

A good horse shampoo doesn’t need to cost the earth, so that’s why we recommend the Mane ‘N Tail Combo Deal Shampoo and Conditioner which come as a budget-friendly set.

This top-seller is a favorite among experienced horse owners and their animals for a reason. This shampoo has a gentle formula with a balanced pH. It works great on horses, dogs, and cats and it is available in multiple sizes. This shampoo and conditioner set targets damaged hair and dry skin to provide all the moisture your horse needs. The conditioner can even be used as a leave-in product to really target dry skin issues.

The apple blossom scent of the Mane ‘n Tail shampoo is another reason is is well loved by many customers. Plus, the scent even doubles as a fly repellent! Not only that, but it is enhanced with moisturizers which leave the coat feeling as good as it looks!

Unfortunately, some customers reported that the bottle sometimes leaks around the top. Also, others found the scent to be a little overpowering.

Pros and Cons of the Mane ‘N Tail Combo Deal Shampoo and Conditioner

ProsCons
This product comes as a shampoo and conditioner set.The bottle sometimes leaks.
It has a gentle formula with a balanced pH.The scent can be overpowering.
It is suitable for horses, dogs, and cats.
It targets damaged hair and dry skin.
It has an apple blossom scent which also acts as a fly repellent.
Best for Budget
Mane 'N Tail Combo Deal Shampoo and Conditioner
  • A top pick for horse owners
  • Affordable price tag
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Shampoo & conditioner set
  • Enjoyable apple blossom scent
Check Amazon

3. Best for White Coats: Farnam Vetrolin White N’ Brite Shampoo

Horses with white coats can show more dirt on their coat, even when they are clean. However, the Farnam Vetrolin White N’ Brite Shampoo is the perfect product to get your light-colored horses clean.

Some horse shampoos leave white or light grey coats looking dull so many horse owners look for a specialized product made for white horses. This product works for both light and dark coats. On light coats it brightens the hair and helps it appear clean and healthy. It also brings out highlights on dark coats and enhances the shine. The coconut oil in the formula also helps the brightening agents work and adds moisture to your horse’s skin. Plus, it can remove even the most stubborn yellow stable stains from your horse!

This is a concentrated formula so you will need to mix it with water. One bottle works for up to 16 washes on most horses. You can also use it to target specific stains on the legs or body. Leave it on your horse’s coat for a full five minutes to get the full effect and brightening power. However, customers have reported that it does not seem to be as concentrated as the manufacturer says it is, with most saying they had to use less water than recommended to get the desired level of bubbles.

Pros and Cons of the Farnam Vetrolin White N’ Brite Shampoo

ProsCons
This product works for both light and dark coats.The formula is not as concentrated as expected.
It brightens the coat and helps it appear clean and healthy.
It contains coconut oil which helps the brightening agents work and adds moisture to your horse’s skin.
It is great for removing stubbon stable stains.
Best for White Coats
Farnam Vetrolin White N' Brite Shampoo
  • Specific formula for white coats
  • Brightens hair by bringing out highlights
  • Concentrated formula needs to be mixed with water
  • Moisturizes the horse's skin
  • One bottle lasts for 16 washes
Check Amazon

4. Best Antifungal: Pet MD Antiseptic & Antifungal Medicated Dog, Cat & Horse Shampoo

One concern that horse owners need to be aware of is fungal infections, and that’s why we recommend the Pet MD Antiseptic & Antifungal Medicated Dog, Cat and Horse Shampoo.

This product helps to relieve bacterial and fungal infections such as hot spots and ringworm. It’s also useful for preventing the development of infections is cuts and abrasions. It contains chlorhexidine gluconate — a medical-grade antiseptic — and ketoconazole which is an antifungal medicine. Both of these ingredients help to target these problems and provide relief from itching.

This shampoo is great for prolonged and targeted use. If your horse has a known allergy, this is a great option as it contains no soaps or parabens which would otherwise aggravate sore skin.

Unfortunately, this product is orange-colored and can sometime leave grey or white coats looking a bit dull.

Pros and Cons of the Pet MD Antiseptic & Antifungal Medicated Dog, Cat & Horse Shampoo

ProsCons
This product helps to relieve bacterial and fungal infections such as hot spots and ringworm.It can sometimes leave white and grey coats looking dull.
It contains chlorhexidine gluconate and and ketoconazole to target skin problems and relieve itching.
It is soap and paraben-free.
Best Antifungal
Pet MD Antiseptic & Antifungal Medicated Dog, Cat & Horse Shampoo
  • Treats fungus, acne, dermatitis, allergies, and other skin conditions
  • Great option for prolonged use
  • Ideal for issues found in the skin folds
  • Won't dry skin
Check Chewy

5. Best Detangler: Farnam Vetrolin Concentrate Horse Detangler & Conditioner

Horses with thick coats and a thick mane and tail may benefit from additional detangling and conditioning to keep their coats in tip-top shape. Therefore, we recommend the Farnam Vetrolin Concentrate Horse Detangler & Conditioner.

This product uses specially formulated silicone to get tangles and snarls out. You can use it on your horse’s entire coat but it is especially effective on manes and tails. It is suitable for use on both horses and dogs and has a sweet herbal fragrance.

Reviewers noted that this was a thick product which sometimes made it seem as though they were using a lot more of it than they needed. Also, some reported that the smell is pungent rather than sweet and is strong.

Pros and Cons of the Farnam Vetrolin Concentrate Horse Detangler & Conditioner

ProsCons
This product uses specially formulated silicone to get tangles out.As it is a thick product it sometimes seems as though you are using much more than your need.
It is particularly effective on manes and tails.Some customers found the smell to be overpowering.
It is suitable for use on both horses and dogs.
It has a sweet herbal fragrance.
Best Detangler
Farnam Vetrolin Concentrate Horse Detangler & Conditioner
  • Provides added detangling benefits for thick- or curly-coated horses
  • Specially formulated silicone gets tangles out
  • Works great on the man, tail and forelock
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

When deciding on the best horse shampoo, consider your horse’s coat, any medical or skin issues, and your overall budget. We’ve looked into all of these factors in more detail.

Horse’s Coat

While many horse shampoos can work for a variety of horses, dogs, cats, and even people, it is helpful to consider the color and texture of your horse’s coat to get the best product for them. Horses with white coats benefit from a shampoo that is specially formulated for white or light hair. Horses with very thick coats that are prone to tangling may need something that is thicker or a specialized detangling product.

Medical and Skin Issues

Your horse’s shampoo is a great way to treat and prevent minor skin irritations and infections. Some problems that can be treated by using a medicated shampoo include dermatitis, allergies, staph infection, fungal infections, and acne. Hot spots and hair loss can also improve by using shampoos formulated to help these issues. If your horse is prone to these problems, using a medicated shampoo routinely can prevent flare-ups. You can also use medicated shampoo to treat issues as they come up.

Cost

Horse shampoo doesn’t have to be super expensive, especially if you buy larger quantities or use a subscribe and save program. Horse shampoo is often concentrated and can be mixed with water for application. Some shampoos even require this. If a high-end specialty shampoo is out of your budget, consider using it where and when it is needed and opting for a more budget-friendly all-purpose option for the rest of your horse’s coat.

The Different Types of Horse Shampoo: Pros and Cons Compared

Horse shampoos come in a variety of types but we’ve looked at the two main options: all-purpose and specialty shampoos. Each has clear pros and cons for use.

All-Purpose Horse Shampoo

ProsCons
It is often cheaper.It doesn’t treat skin issues.
It can used on other animals and pets.It does not contain as many targeted ingredients.
It is easier to source.

Specialty Horse Shampoo

ProsCons
It can treat skin problems.It usually only targets one issue.
It is ideal for thick hair.It is more expensive
It is cheaper than prescription medications.
About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

The Best Horse Shampoo (And Conditioner!) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are speciality shampoos?

Speciality shampoos are ones that contain specific ingredients that are designed to be effective against a certain issue — such as ringworm.

Why is chlorhexidine gluconate a good ingredient?

Chlorhexidine gluconate is a substance that is commonly used as a medical-grade antiseptic handwash — widely known as Hibiscrub.  It has antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities and is effective against a variety of bacteria, yeasts, and some fungi. This means that it can clear up or prevent a wide range of skin issues in horses.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.